David Huang

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since Jan 23, 2018
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Recent posts by David Huang

Eliot Mason wrote:

Now ... does anyone know how to play chess??

I do!  Alas, my Wednesday afternoon chess group has been on hiatus due to Covid.
1 day ago
Another thought would be to make your own oil paint.  Back in the day this is what artists had to do before commercially made paints were available.  I've made my own printmakers ink.  I imagine the process would be the same.  You get an oil, I would think a natural linseed oil could work, and using a putty knife just keep working in pigment powder until it thickens to the viscosity is what you want.  If you look online you can likely find natural blue pigment powders.

Of course, that said it would probably just be easiest to purchase a tube of oil paint made with natural pigments.
1 day ago

Tereza Okava wrote:Dr Pinterest suggests making a blue stain with copper (not pennies, but copper) and hydrogen peroxide.

I don't know anything about making wood stains so I can't really comment on that part.  However, if it is copper you are looking for pennies are copper, BUT they have to be the right pennies.  US pennies dated 1981 or older are actual copper.  In 1982 they could be copper or they could be the "modern" type penny which I believe is copper coated zinc.  I don't know the dates for coins of other countries.  If memory serves me though Canadian pennies were real copper a few years later so playing it safe you could still go by the 1981 date and know you have copper.

I do a lot of patina work on copper as part of my art career and can say the colors I'm seeing in the photos do remind me of the look of cupric nitrate.  It also reminds me of cupric sulfate which I believe you can more readily find as a soil amendment for those who want to increase the copper content of their soils.  Around me I can buy it at the local feed supply store.  I have no idea how it would work as a wood stain though.  The final colors are more likely to be like that of a Robin's egg in my wild guesstimation.  
1 day ago

T Blankinship wrote:
If zoom is not a good video conferencing program what program do you use if any?

To be honest I haven't used any other and will readily admit to being a bit of a Luddite.  zoom might be the best out there, or there might be others that are better.  I don't know.  I was just offering up my experiences with it.
1 week ago
I'm not actually part of our local friends of the library group but it's something I've considered.  My sense was always that they were mainly about doing fundraising things to help support the library.  This is great and much appreciated, but for myself I don't know that I'd much care for the task of coming up with ways to ask people for money.  Does your group do things beyond this?  Maybe I just don't quite understand what all the group does.

Regarding zoom, this is what my library has been using for our book group discussion since covid.  I can't give it high marks so far.  It may just be errors on the part of the librarian hosting the talks but I've been in 2 so far and each time getting into the meeting has been a problem.  I would say the user interface is not that intuitive for many so people don't know what to click on to make it work.  It's not just me whose had this issue either.  The last time there was someone we all could see trying to get in, but never managed to fully log on and eventually gave up.  I don't know for sure if this is true, but I've also heard zoom is one of those insidious surveillance type programs that once you load onto your computer you can't actually remove.  Uninstalling it just removes your access to it.  I guess it doesn't actually get rid of the program.

I probably would not have done the zoom book group thing but for the fact that they took my earlier suggestion that Building a Better World in Your Backyard Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys would make a great discussion book.  The local friends of the library group agreed and donated the money to purchase a dozen for a "Book club in a bag" set that will now be available to all the regional branches.  Since I was the main instigator in all this I really had to take part!  I feel like I should also note here since other library group type people might be reading this thread that I created a set of discussion questions book groups could use to get things going.  I have them posted in this blog on my blog site.  All are welcome to copy, share, and use them.
1 week ago

D Nikolls wrote:Interesting..

That money would buy 2 huge chest freezers, a bunch of canning jars, build an enormous dehydrator, and leave some to start a root cellar..

Very different end results I would expect; Richard, can you comment on the food quality vs frozen, canned, and dehydrated foods, rather than commercially freeze-dried?

I've looked at the freeze driers myself in the past and more recently have a friend of a friend who got one.  As a result through my friend I have been sampling some of the wares.  :)  The food quality of freeze dried things is certainly different.  Fruit, in my opinion, pretty much turns into irresistible crunchy candy that is totally healthy to eat in abundance!  As Richard noted it is said that most of the nutrients are maintained as well with this form of preservation.

As a hard core frugalist I'm not as convinced about the money savings aspect of these.  Certainly if one was already buying and consuming freeze dried foods on a regular basis with the high prices they command it would make sense to invest in the equipment to do your own.  I suspect this is not the case for most of us.  A move to eating a lot of freeze dried foods would be a move to eating more expensively whether you do it yourself or purchase commercially dried stuff.  If reducing your food expenses is the goal there are FAR better ways to do that.  Getting to know dried beans/legumes and eating seasonally/locally available foods comes to mind as a great place to start.

From a permaculture/environmental standpoint I would think canning or normal dehydrating would be much better.  The levels of technology, materials, and energy needed to process and store the foods would be much lower.  If you want to keep the freeze dried foods for any period of time you also need to seal them in some way that air/moisture doesn't get to them.  Generally that involved a lot of plastics, often one time use plastic at that.

Having said all that, if I'm being honest the only reason I don't have one myself is because my homestead is off-grid solar.  Were I still grid tied I'm pretty sure I would have dropped the cash to get one by now!
2 weeks ago
I'll finish for now with the olfactory edition.  
2 weeks ago
Here's 2020 year in review the playground edition.
2 weeks ago